After an unexpected start to the season during which the UConn field hockey team struggled against ranked competition week after week, the Huskies now look to turn things around with their first lighter weekend of the year. They are set to take on Quinnipiac on the road on Friday, while Boston University comes to town on Sunday.
UConn (5-7, 2-1 Big East) had a decent last weekend, cleaning up a mediocre Providence team and dropping a thriller to No. 17 Princeton in overtime.
The Huskies have been supported by their graduate student keeper Cheyenne Sprecher. The former Big East Defensive Player of the Year has continued her historic career, amassing 78 saves in 12 full games. She ranks No. 13 in the entire country in save percentage, and if you adjust for a minimum of 50 saves, she ranks fifth. Earlier this year, Sprecher earned National Defensive Player of the Week honors. She and the rest of the UConn defense will look to get their fifth and possibly sixth shutouts of the year this week.
The Huskies offense has a few dogs leading the pack, with four different players earning at least six points thus far. Junior McKenna Sergi is the top goal scorer, netting four and racking up eight points on the year. Freshman Sophia Ugo has been a bright spot for the team, finding the back of the cage three times while assisting twice for eight total points.
While these two have the highest point totals, UConn has been very dependent on the whole team this season. There really isn’t a defined goal scorer, especially late in games. In every contest, there’s no expectation for someone to go and score for the Huskies to win.
Ugo came out of the gate hot, scoring two of her three goals early on in the season. Sergi will score once every few games. Lately, it’s been Big East Honor Roll member Claire Jandewerth, who earned the nod after scoring twice off of two penalty corners against the Friars last week.
A prediction for who’s up next? While it really could be anyone, look out for senior midfielder Abby Gooderham. She has taken 26 shots so far this season — the most on the team. Despite this, she only has one goal to show for it. Putting the ball near the net improves scoring chances, so don’t be surprised if she nets one or two this weekend.
Quinnipiac (1-9, 0-3 Big East) has struggled so far this season, scoring just seven goals on the season. The Bobcats took home their first win of the season this past Sunday. Quinnipiac beat a middle-of-the-pack Yale team in overtime, winning 3-2.
The Bobcats are led by Emilia Massarelli, who claims six of the team’s seven goals this season alongside her 12 total points. She was very efficient in Quinnipiac’s last game, taking two shots and converting both of them for scores. Since no other Bobcat has more than two points, UConn’s main goal on defense should be to contain Massarelli. If they do that, Quinnipiac’s seventh shutout this year is imminent.
While the Bobcats are having a tough time this year, the Boston University Terriers (2-9, 0-2 Patriot League) find themselves in the same boat. The Terriers are riding an eight game losing streak, winning their last game way back on Sept. 3 against New Hampshire. Historically, the Huskies have won their last 14 matchups against BU, dating back to 2009. Considering Boston University’s season, it will likely be 15 after Sunday’s game.
The Terriers have also had scoring struggles this year, putting up 13 goals in 11 games while allowing 31. The team is led by freshman Payton Anderson, who has found the net six times, assisted twice and amassed 14 points. The leading distributors on the year are Rebecca Janes and Casey Thompson, who have four assists apiece. These three are the spearhead of Boston University’s attack and are definitely the players to look out for in this contest.